Desktop-VDI
Optimizing Mobile Access for VDI

Optimizing Mobile Access for VDI

Virtual desktop technology is highly flexible in supporting a wide array of mobile clients and operating systems. Yet, not every mobile device setup delivers a great user experience.

A clear advantage of VDI is that you can connect to a VDI session running a full Windows desktop and Windows applications such as Microsoft Office from any device with a VDI client installed. For example, you can connect to a Windows VDI desktop session from a computer running Windows, Mac OSX, an iPad or iPhone running iOS, a Chromebook running ChromeOS, or a tablet or phone running Android. As long as the computer or device you are using has the appropriate client software, a connection can be made to a VDI session.

However, just because it is possible to establish a connection from a mobile device such as a tablet or phone doesn’t mean that the experience will be great. The key to a successful VDI experience with mobile devices often depends on screen size and the nature of the applications.

If a person is trying to interact with a full Windows desktop on a phone with a low-resolution screen that is a couple of inches in diameter, the experience is likely to be suboptimal. This is because desktops need to be at least 1366x768 pixels or higher and many phones don’t have screens at this resolution. Even if a phone has the required resolution, the size of the phone’s screen may mean that applications in the VDI session display too small for easy viewing.

If the person is trying to interact using a touch-screen device with an application that is not designed for touch screen input, the experience is also unlikely to be fulfilling. It can be especially frustrating if someone needs to enter a lot of data during the VDI session; on-screen keyboards often take up space required to display the desktop and applications in the VDI session.

The best mobile devices to use with VDI sessions are tablets--and with a separate, Bluetooth-enabled keyboard. Now, the user can enter text and have adequate display resolution and screen size to comfortably show the contents of the VDI session.

While it is possible to connect to a VDI session from almost any mobile device, IT organizations should set expectations for their users on recommended devices. They should ensure that users connect from devices with adequate screen sizes and if the user needs to enter a lot of data, that they have a separate keyboard to maximize their on-screen real estate.

Underwritten by HPE, NVIDIA and VMware.

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